Saturday 20 January 2018

Reilly rules out 'cooling off' period for abortions

Health Minister Dr James Reilly
Health Minister Dr James Reilly

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

HEALTH Minister Dr James Reilly has ruled out having a "cooling off" period before a suicidal woman would be allowed have an abortion.

It came after Fine Gael Mayo TD Michelle Mulherin called for a delay of up to ten days before the abortion could be performed. She said that when a woman was in a heightened state of anxiety or distress, the only way to deal with them was to slow things down.

But Dr Reilly said it was a "life or death" situation and he could not on his conscience support a cooling off period when it  could result in a suicidal woman taking her life in the meantime.

"It just isn't feasible. I'm sorry to say that but that's the reality," he said.

He was speaking at the Oireachtas Health sub committee, which is currently debating and voting on 89 proposed amendments to the abortion bill.

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